Being required to take math or English courses that a student placed into will be a thing of the past come spring 2019. By requiring California community colleges to comply with Assembly Bill No. 705, students will no longer be required to take math or English courses that are below the college-level.
According to AB 705, which was approved in Oct. of 2017, California community colleges will now be required to maximize the possibility for students to enter and pass transfer-level coursework in English and math within one year.
Although those courses below the college-level will still be available, students will be able to take the college-level course along with a corequisite to supplement moving past a level they might have needed.
LBCC Math Department Head Ladera Barbee, explains how the math department can help students succeed even if they have enrolled into a college level course not feeling ready.
“A lot of students are going to be placed right into transfer-level, so we’re in the process and already have completed in some classes a corequisite piece. For example, we’re going to have Math 45, college Algebra, somebody who passed Algebra II in high school they are ready to take it they are gonna go right into that class.”
“But, somebody who only passed Algebra I in high school because of the law we have to allow them to take college Algebra and we want to make sure they are as successful as possible so we’re saying ‘hey why don’t you take Math 45 with an attached 2 unit corequisite’ so it’s actually a 6 unit college Algebra class that helps make sure the student gets all the extra help within the class period,” Barbee said.
Anthony Starros, the English department head, believes the spirit of the bill is intended to help students get through the early stages of their education as efficiently as possible.
“Most importantly we’re looking to be able to find the support that we can offer these students since some of these students in this transitional period will be going from having been placed into an English 801 class to suddenly being asked to take a 105 or English 1 co-rec, it will put a little fear into some students so we want to make sure we have the right support to offer them,” Starros said.
According to Starros, he wants to make sure the bill is implemented in an equitable way in order to benefit both students and faculty. Starros also believes the school should always be focused first and foremost on the students in order to keep the students benefits a priority.
English Professor Nicole Glick explains the issues that motivated the assembly bill to be passed and implemented.
“Studies show the data that putting students in remedial courses, was a detriment to their persistence and success in school,” Glick said. “We found that over half of the students just quit, even if they were successful in their first class at the lower level, they would quit college altogether after that. So the intentions behind the law I think are really valid because the data is showing that they can actually succeed.”
According to Glick, the roll out of the law can be complicated. There is a sense of urgency for the school to get students to pass the transfer-level English and Math classes within one year because the law is tied to funding. If students do not pass the transfer-level courses within one year, the school loses funding.
With students being enrolled in transfer-level classes, there is potential for the tutoring center to see more traffic come spring semester.
Chemistry tutor at LAC, Edwin Martinez expects there to be more traffic for the tutoring center.
“If they were to get rid of the placement tests then that would allow students to take courses at a level that they may or may not be proficient at and then that might correlate to an increase in activity here at the tutoring center,” Martinez said.
Beginning spring 2019, the law will be implemented on campus and the English and math requirements to pass the courses below the transfer-level will no longer be a requirement, in hopes to increase graduation rates.